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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lotsa Love for Locks of Love

I did it, again. This is the fourth time I've donated hair to the wonderful organization, Locks of Love. Two years ago I wrote a tutorial on donating hair to Locks of Love. Really, it's totally easy.
  1. Grow your hair out
  2. Put it in a ponytail
  3. Cut off the Ponytail
  4. Fill out the form and mail it in with the ponytail
Here is a picture of my hair just before I got it cut off. 
 I love the organization Locks of Love. I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to help in my little way.It's funny, I get a lot of the same comments from people. I will address two of them:
  • "Your hair must grow really fast!" Actually, my hair grows the average 1/2 inch per month. I usually donate 10-12 inches every 24 months so that's how the math works out.
  • "I could never do that!" The first time I donated it was a little hard for me. But, now I always think of my hair in terms of how much longer it needs to get before I can donate it to a child in need. Change your perspective and you can do a lot of impossible things.
I've copied the organizations mission statement below. I think it is beautiful and inspiring. For even more inspiration, go to the recipient web page to see children with their hair prosthetics.
    "Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need."

    Thank you for visiting We Grow By Our Dreams today. I hope that you will consider donating a ponytail to Locks of Love.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Day Trippin' in Long Beach, CA

    I live about 20 minutes from Long Beach. In fact, I can see the Long Beach coastline from the beach where I run. But, I don't really go and do all the fun touristy things there very often. A few weeks ago the niece and I had a super fun half-day in Long Beach so I thought I'd share some pics with you.

    I have to tell you about the red Passport Bus. It takes you (for free) to pretty much all the touristy things in LB like the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, Ocean Boulevard, etc. The niece had never been in a non-school bus so this was a big deal for her.
    9 year-olds are still pretty easy to entertain.
    We took the bus from the Queen Mary to the Aquarium drop off. We stopped for a quick picture.
    Then we rode the Ferris wheel.


    There are some pretty cool views from the top of the ferris wheel. We can see the Queen Mary and Seaside Village.
     After a quick trip to the closing Borders Books where we bought some cheap reads including some inappropriate humored doggy desk calendars (whoops!), we got back on the red bus and headed to the Queen Mary.

    I love the Queen Mary. When I was a kid, we used to take school field trips to visit the old ship. Built in 1936 as a luxury cruise liner, it took its last voyage in 1967 and was re-purposed as a hotel with all its 1930's era charm. I've also attended conferences on board. The views from the deck are spectacular.

    In the first picture, the niece tries to see our town from a telescope. Again, 25 cent entertainment rocks!
    This is a view of the harbor, the LB Convention Center, and a lot of the skyline.

    We can't forget to do a smash-a-penny.
    We ended our day trip with some hot chocolates and pastries on the way home. We love Long Beach!

    Thanks for stopping by the blog today.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Easter Memories; Successes and some Eggceptions

    Every Easter morning at the Grow house begins with a plastic egg hunt. My mum and I hide eggs for the niece to find. My mum is super tricky, I tell you, if you ever want something to "disappear," have my mum hide it for you. ;)




    When I was a kid, an article came out in Friend Magazine about how to make Bunny Buns. My fam was totally on board with making bunny-shaped breads for Easter. This year, I recreated it for the fam. Note to self: don't start making bread at 8 o'clock at night. 
    The egg hunt started out a little drizzly and then went to full rain. Not pictured:: the fam standing outside with coats and umbrellas but barefoot, searching for eggs. The niece is pictured proudly showing her new egg catching frog device.
     The young womens choir did a wonderful job. The Greek dinner was delicious. The strawberry pie mum made was fabulous. Now, the fails. I boiled a pot full of eggs but we never colored them. I tried to make rainbow jello-jiggler eggs but when I opened the mold, they all broke in half. :(  Oh, but one of the highlights of my day was finding the glasses I lost a month ago. Where were they? In my blue shoes of course.

    I hope that you had a blessed Easter. Later this week I'll show some pics from the Cherry Tea Party that I co-hosted and a fun half-day trip the niece and I did a few weeks ago. Thanks for stopping hy.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Easter Open House

    Spring is so fun! I have a few photos from around the house to share with you and some stories to go with them. Enjoy!

    We'll start with two of my new finds. I found these vintage fabric-covered plastic eggs at an estate sale a few weeks ago. Each egg has a different fabric and there are 3 different sizes. I found the wire bunny egg holder at the Assistance League Thrift Shop this year. I love the combo.
    Here we have two versions of a similar chocolate bunny. The first guy is faux chocolate. The second can be filled with any kind of candy. We used sparkly jelly beans.

    This is the egg garland that I made last year with fabric scraps and vintage pillowcases. Our Easter count down bunny is in the middle. He counts down the days with numbers on carrots.
    As long as we are peaking out the front window, here are some flowers in the front yard.
    We are very lazy gardeners at my house. My neighbors asked if we had garden faeries that come in the night because they never see us gardening and we always have gorgeous flowers. Ha ha ha.

    Up next, my sister and I found this spring plate at a different estate sale. Actually, it was buried in the garage of all places. I love the texture of the flowers.
    We love to decorate the coffee table. At the same estate sale as the plate (also in the garage), we found the purple pitcher. It is filled with plastic eggs. The little basket holds the eggs we hide for my niece every year in our front yard.

    This is another thrift store find. This bunny sits on the divider between the kitchen and dining room. I love strawberries for Easter.
    One of my favorite Easter memories as a child was going to my cousins' house for spring break. We would always make lemon cupcakes with green coconut and jellybeans with pipe cleaner handles to resemble Easter baskets. The niece and I re-created them this year.
    We aren't Greek but wish we had Greek relatives to teach us how to cook Greek food. A few years back I bought this beautiful cookbook. It is filled with gorgeous pictures of not only the food but of the people and landscape of Greece. We will be having a Greek-style feast for Easter this year.
    And, lastly for our tour, our Crown of Thorns plant. This was given to my niece at church this year to remind her of the true meaning of Easter. She was told that this is what the Roman Soldiers used to make the crown of thorns for Jesus to wear during his crucifixion.
    Thank you so much for visiting We Grow By Our Dreams for an Easter Open House. I hope that you have a wonderful Easter. I will be conducting a choir of young women ages 12-18 for one song tomorrow at church.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    The Drive Home

    I'm pretty blessed. I commute to and from work along a beautiful stretch of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Huntington Beach, California. At the beginning of my commute is the more urban, downtown HB scene. Then, I get a beautiful, unobstructed view of the ocean. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to drive home at sunset. I have a little habit of taking pictures with my camera phone if I stop at a light. Here are some pics:

    I actually took this one on my way to work. I'm sitting at the light at Main Street. Main Street has lots of fun shops and restaurants. It is closed a couple evenings a week for a street festival.
    This is Duke's. It's a yummy restaurant at the base of the HB Pier. It sits right on the ocean side of PCH so the views are incredible.
    I'm sitting in traffic in this one. I see all kinds of cars on PCH. I like the classic cars like in the picture below. Yesterday I drove home behind a Ferrari.
    Even our cloudy days are beautiful. I ran barefoot on the beach into a pretty strong headwind yesterday. All part of the challenge.
    HB is the host of many surfing competitions. The picture below shows the bleachers and tents being set up on the sand.
    The Huntington Beach Pier is our most famous landmark. You can see it in the picture below.
    And, here it is at sunset.
    Just another beautiful sunset over the ocean. In the picture below you can see several people walking along our bike path. You can see Catalina Island on the left side of the picture and Palo Verdes Peninsula on the right. This is the view of The Cliffs or Dog Beach. It's mostly a local beach for surfers and dog lovers because it is one of the few beaches where dogs are allowed in Southern California.
    I hope that you enjoyed a few views of my commute home. My favorite is when the brown pelicans soar above my car as I'm driving home at sunset. On the non-ocean side there are beautiful wetlands full of interesting birds. It's pretty cool.

    Thanks for stopping by WGBODs today.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Wonderful Sunday

    I broke away from my standard breakfast (Greek yogurt with chopped walnuts and honey) to make something special for the fam- chocolate croissants and fruit salad. 
    Before you get too impressed, the croissants are Trader Joes. You let them rise overnight and then brush them with a beaten egg and then bake them in the morning. And, the fruit salad is just a bunch of fruit I found in the fridge and on the counter that we already had. But, it was yummy!

    So, why all the fuss today? Well, it's General Conference weekend which means we get to hang out in our jammies and watch our church leaders give very inspirational messages.  My favorite today was from Richard G. Scott. He spoke lovingly about his wife who has passed on. Kleenex alert!
     
    There were several talks about giving service to our community which I found very poinant. And, there were a few reminders that I need to go here again soon.
    I hope that you had a wonderful Sunday too. :)

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